A radical view for the age of superbugs: Don’t fight infections. Learn to live with them
Scientists have focused for decades on the how the immune system battles pathogens. Janelle Ayres believes other elements of our physiology are at least as important — so she’s hunting for the beneficial bacteria that seem to help some patients maintain a healthy appetite and repair damaged tissue even during bouts of serious disease.
If she can find them — and she’s already begun to do so — she believes she can develop drugs that will boost those qualities in patients who lack them and help keep people alive through battles with sepsis, malaria, cholera, and a host of other diseases.
Her approach, in a nutshell: Stop worrying so much about fighting infections. Instead, help the body tolerate them.
- Health Care